Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Birthday Bounty

Another Birthday! I can't believe that I have become so ancient! AARP is the first to send a birthday greeting, followed by the insurance company. If they would just stop reminding me that I'm old, I can fool myself just by taking my glasses off when I look into the mirror. I look so young, without a wrinkle! That's the only good thing about Presbyopia. But, I am glad I've made it to age 66. Many others through the ages have not been so lucky. I just have a hard time watching my skin crinkle, hang and dangle. Oh well, good thing I only have two regrets at this stage of my life. They are not having a higher formal education, and always worrying about something. I believe it's called Generalized Anxiety Disorder. These thoughts all but disappear when I see my birthday table though!

My grand daughter baked a ginger/pear cake for my birthday-delicious -and the chocolate cake allowed for good thoughts only!

One of my gifts was a gated arbor that will go perfectly at the entrance of my secret garden. I can't put the planters on each side because the side yard is very narrow. No matter. This will enhance my idea of a miniature secret garden! We built Turr Tull's new house there and someday I will finish painting the block wall. I think I have been cheated on square footage on my lot--I have the smallest in of the lake lot houses on my side of the lake. Maybe they did that because I do have the best view of the lake and mountains.

My favorite gift was a hand painted flower pot filled with decorated hands. My granddaughter had everyone in the family trace their hand and then decorate it in whatever way they chose. This Easter the family was all together, including my two out-of-town brothers, and my grandson home on leave, so this is extra special gift!

Ryder has two bottom teeth now and he makes such funny faces! I hope this puts a smile on your face like it does mine!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Garden Catch Up

A great find at our recent community yard sale. I bought the45-tile box for $40.00. I think they will look great with the existing tile I have on the pony wall.

Calendula--Pacific Beauty blend, I think. I planted a lot of seeds in the area that didn't come up. I was hoping that the green Zinnia would show or the Dianthus, Lupine or the Delphinium. Oh well, maybe next year I'll have a few surprises!

The pale yellow ones are Snap Dragons.

Finally, the Heirloom Runner Bean has blossoms. The packet stated in very hot climates the vine will flower but not set pods until the weather moderates in the fall. I'll be surprised if they last through June!

This pretty flower is at the entrance of our club house. I think it is a type of Geranium.

When the world wearies, and society ceases to satisfy,
there is always the garden.
~ Minnie Aumonier

We have a lot of strange looking skies here. Before the day was over it looked like a checkerboard, with lots of swirly looking clouds.


Hubby had a port put in and it is much easier for the nurses to take blood and administer the chemo. He still feels the stick and it hurts him, but after it heals they promise it will be better!!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Tortoise Tales

In September, 2008, Turr Tull went missing. We were afraid that his hibernation housing had collapsed or he dug his way out and took off. At the time, we were having our deck repaired and I had the hope that he simply walked out an open gate, or that maybe hubbie had left the gate open and he escaped. (The turtle, not my husband!) After a few nights of dreaming that he was trying to dig his way out of the possibly collapsed housing, we decided to tear it down to check. He had a large dark house under the planter, but each time he came out for food or sun he would be covered in mud. Since he was obviously digging, we could never be sure where he was digging and why he would be wet. The planter itself had been water sealed and should have been dry, so I was concerned that he had gone into hibernation and just drowned. Since we dug the whole thing up to check on Turr Tull, it led to the remodeling of a large part of my back yard that, in the end, turned out to be a very satisfying result. We didn't find him in his house, and after a year of waiting for him to emerge, we sealed the door and placed a headstone on the step, assuming he had passed on.

Turr Tull's Headstone

After two years of wondering what could have happened to Turr Tull and hoping that he didn't suffer regardless of his fate, I mentioned to a neighbor the tale of Turr Tull, and commented that I'd always wonder what had happened to him. She thought for a minute and said, "well, you know the people next door to me found a turtle crawling down the sidewalk and they took it in. It lives in their backyard. Maybe it's yours."
Hubby went to the house and told them that he thought they had our turtle, and sure enough, it was our Turr Tull, but hubby didn't bring him home. The people said they just decided to keep it in their back yard, assuming someone would come looking for it if it was someone's pet. After so much time passed, they figured it wondered in from the desert. Ironically, the deck people came back today to seal the deck. Then, the door bell rang, and I was handed a box with Turr Tull inside!

I quickly took him to the back yard and picked his favorite flower--hibiscus--and he scarfed up 6 flowers without stopping!!

Who would have thought....Turr Tull is alive and well!! This calls for another family party!

Previous Tortoise Posts

Friday, April 9, 2010

Summer's Coming On...

I found this at a half price sale at Goodwill. I paid $2.50! I always look for yard art, and so far, I've had pretty good luck finding interesting things. They are cheap enough to keep until I tire of them, then off to Goodwill where I donate them back and look for something else.

Bacopa White...

I love having draping plants on stands. Too bad these won't look so hot in another month, if they make it through the heat. Just about the time they start hitting the ground, the heat comes.

This Sacred Datura is from a cutting a blog friend sent me last year. This is the third bloom of the season. This night blooming flower is so pretty!

Here's my Ultra-Dwarf Santa Rosa Plum from Lowe's. The tag said it is a perfect container plant. I have had it about a month and it is still living, so that's a good sign that it will last, at least a while.

This bell pepper plant is the one that lived through the planter remodel last year. This is the first time that the peppers have turned red! They taste pretty good--same as when they were green.

My sweet peas are higher than my six foot block wall! I'm still passing out bouquets, but noticed seed pods on a few. Oh well--I need to get used to it--everything will be gone before the end of May.

The Rock Rose Poppies just bloomed! These are very late this year. They are growing in my flower beds and side yards.

I love 'em!

While having lunch with the Grand kids, we spotted ...

A dove making her nest in the O of the restaurant sign. This nest looks pretty safe. At another restaurant nearby, a dove is trying to nest on a scupper right next to the restaurant's door. There's always debris there from the nest. I predict that nest won't last long--just like most dove nests. However, the fate of this next will be because of a man-made disaster, not nature. They are not the brightest birds when it comes to locating nests.

We were blessed on Easter with a surprise visit from our grandson, who is stationed at Ft. Knox, Kentucky! It was quite a shock seeing him standing in the doorway at a local restaurant. Then, making it the perfect holiday, two brothers and sister-in-law arrived from out of state. I hadn't seen my one brother in six years, so it was a rare family reunion.
I haven't even tried to watch my diet over the past few weeks--I just ate everything in sight! I use the excuse that it was a holiday, visitors were here, etc. etc. Problem is I'm still eating and I'm not able to stop! We all had such a good visit!!
Hubbie decided to have a port implanted after having 36 IV's. His arm veins started hiding from the nurse and it became very painful for him to go through each time he needed chemo, so having the port will make it easier for everyone. He is doing very well with the treatments.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Piggy Birthdays and Other Brevities

Birthday parties again!! Great grandson is 6 months old already!! Of course that means a 1/2-year PARTY!!!


For over 30 years my daughter has received some type of pig themed stuff for her birthday and Christmas. It started as a joke, and now she has quite an eclectic collection of piggy related items! She says that she really hates pigs and makes quite a scene of disgust when she gets one, but I know she secretly loves it! Of course, most of the cards are of pigs and this year my grand daughter made her a pig cake!!! It turned out really cute and tasted delicious.


My hibiscus is loaded with blooms, but not many leaves. This shrub really is in the wrong place--it partially blocks a full view of the lake and looks out of place among the flower beds. One of these days, it's going to go--I'll probably try transplanting, but don't have much hope of it making it. I love the hibiscus, but the view is really important! Can't replace that, but can replace a hibiscus shrub.

My new project! When an old plant bench fell apart after having it around for 29 years, I decided to reuse the tile on the inside of the my front pony wall. I will have to buy many more tiles, and may add more color--just not sure what I'm going to do yet.

The red cabbage is doing well....

and the cauliflower looks good! Can't wait to make my soup with the two, and with the kale that is still growing.


Hubby got an "excellent" report from the Dr. today! He needs to stay on the chemo for three more months and then they will do a bone marrow test to see what's happening.